Your WQE Score Report

How to Read Your Score Report

Approximately 6-8 weeks after completing the American Board of Ophthalmology’s Written Qualifying Examination (WQE), you can expect to receive your Candidate Score Report. This report is made available electronically for download on your ABO Candidate Status Page.

Your WQE Candidate Score Report will provide you with your:

  • Total scaled score
  • Overall pass/fail result
  • Performance level in each subject area

Total Scaled Score

Your raw score (the number of items you answered correctly) on each examination is transformed into a reporting scale ranging from 200 to 1000 and shared with you in your report.

Example:
Your Total Scaled Score: 714

To pass the WQE, your scaled score must total 700 or higher. Your score is calculated using only your individual examination performance. Scoring is not done "on the curve” or in relationship to your peers. For every administration of the WQE, it is possible for all examinees to pass if they achieve a score at or above 700. Because your score is not impacted by peer performance, you will not receive a percentile ranking or other peer performance indicators in your score report.


Pass/Fail Result

While your total scaled score provides you with an indication of how well you performed, the ABO will clearly indicate for you whether or not your test outcome met the passing standard in order to move onto the Oral Examination.

Example:
Your Total Scaled Score: 714

RESULT: Pass


Subject Area Performance Levels

At the bottom of your report, you will see a table containing the list of subject areas covered by the WQE, along with a performance level rating for each subject.

  • If you see a Level 1, this Indicates your subject area performance was at or above the minimum proficiency level.
  • If you see a Level 2, this Indicates your that subject area performance was below the minimum proficiency level.

If you are looking for direction on how to prepare for the Oral Examination or to re-take the WQE, your subject area performance levels can help you identify potential areas for enhancing your ophthalmic knowledge.

Example:

Subject Area Your Performance Level

Lens and Cataract

Level 2

Cornea, External Disease, & Anterior Segment

Level 1

Glaucoma

Level 1

Neuro-Ophthalmology

Level 1

Oculofacial Plastic, Lacrimal, and Orbital Surgery

Level 1

Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

Level 2

Optics and Refractive Management

Level 1

Retina, Vitreous, and Intraocular Tumors

Level 2

Uveitis

Level 1

Other Important Scoring Information

The ABO is often asked why it takes 6-8 weeks to issue your WQE results. We understand that waiting for this important news is difficult and that the digitized examination format creates an expectation for immediate feedback. However, please be assured that the extended timeline ultimately works to your benefit. During this post-examination period, extensive quality assurance checks take place to ensure that your test result is fair and accurate. For example, all WQE content is re-reviewed by teams of subject matter experts in accordance with psychometric standards to identify potentially flawed questions. If the ABO determines that a question with more than one correct answer (or no correct answer) has made it onto the WQE, then test-takers are not penalized for this item.

Candidates also ask whether more detailed performance feedback is available. While this is something we provide on the Quarterly Questions assessment for Maintenance of Certification (MOC), our purpose for initial certification is different. At the time of initial certification, the ABO’s primary goal is to assess whether or not an ophthalmologist meets the standards we’ve set for knowledge, skills, and experience based on the education they’ve already received during ophthalmology residency training. Our examinations answer that question in a Yes/No or Pass/Fail manner. Initial certification examinations are not designed to probe the degree to which candidates exceed the standards or fall below them; therefore, these tests are not an appropriate tool for teaching. And, since initial certification candidates do not compete against one another, we do not rank their performance.

Finally, if you receive your Candidate Score Report and believe an error has been made in the calculation of your results, please write to info@abop.org to request a re-score. In taking this step, please understand that re-scoring is limited to verifying two things: 1) that the responses that were scored under your name were indeed made by you, and 2) that the scoring process correctly transformed your responses into a scaled score. The re-score process does not include a re-review of test questions, reconsideration of incorrect/correct answers, changes to the passing standard, or an investigation of testing conditions. (Concerns about test centers or testing conditions should be reported to the ABO immediately, on the day of the examination.)